Is Prizm Football Still the Best 2016 Rookie Set to Buy?

I have had a long and very difficult history with Prizm. Starting in 2012, it was one of the ugliest sets of the year, and it only got worse in 2013 and 2014. In fact, the 2014 set might be the worst looking rookie autograph set I have seen in the last 10 years, and that’s saying something considering the shit Panini has come out with as of late.

Here are the ugliest cards Prizm has to offer:

2012 Prizm Andrew Luck RC Auto BGS 9

2013 Prizm Leveon Bell Auto RC BGS 10

2013 Prizm Derek Carr RC Auto BGS 9.5

Something clicked, because in 2015 and in 2016, the set actually became a good looking product. Although it trailed Topps Chrome by a mile, it was no longer the fucking joke it was in the previous few years. That doesnt mean all is well, as the product still features sticker autographs, and a lot of ugly subsets. This is one of the main reasons it hasnt reached the level it should have reached now that Chrome is gone, and its really unfortunate in a year like this.

Here are the much improved designs:

2015 Prizm Marcus Mariota Gold Refractor Auto RC /10

2016 Prizm Paxton Lynch Auto RC /5

2016 Prizm Ezekiel Elliott Camo RC /25

2016 Prizm Jared Goff Gold Auto RC /10

Because of the strong rookie class, we are seeing 2012 level prices for the Cowboys' rookies, a very welcome situation for a lot of reasons. The issue is that its clear that these prices would be BLOWN out of the fucking water by much of what Topps would have produced this year, and its a sad reminder of how Panini still has yet to get their shit together on the most important sets of the year.

Its clear that they just dont know how to build a good product like Chrome was, as Panini inexplicably reduced the configuration options from Hobby and Jumbo to just Jumbo, which makes no sense at all for a set designed to cater to the mid range of spenders. Even though the product’s boxes are still selling above MSRP, imagine what would have happened without Dak and Zeke. Fucking disaster, that’s what. Lets not forget that there are still points in packs for this product. Yes, Panini is still trying to make “fetch” happen with the points shit.

I still think that of any product right now, Prizm is still the one that is worth buying – especially compared to trash like Infinity, Unparalleled, Gala and basically any other new set Panini has put out this year. I would say that Impeccable is much more of a great looking product, but it is not rookie focused as much as Prizm is.

As the year closes out, and we start to approach Treasures and Flawless, I have a feeling that there is going to be a larger focus on Prizm as a premium but not super premium set. Panini tends to flood the market with high end as the calendar comes to a close, and that will only make this set that much more attractive.

If the Cowboys run deep in the playoffs, this could be a banner year for cards, and I sincerely hope that Panini can make the most of what is going on. History is not kind in that respect, so Im not holding my breath. It all depends on the back end of 2016, and there are a lot of opportunities to knock it out of the park. Lets hope they remove their heads from their ass, and actually showcase better planning than what we got from Prizm.

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